Hero photograph
Nicola Brown and Tony Brown (no relation) from Wanaka Rotary hard at work with a new pumpkin patch.


PDG Bob Aitken, Rotary End Polio Now Coordinator —

World Polio Month and the Ingenuity of Rotarians …

Article by PDG Bob Aitken, Rotary End Polio Now Coordinator

Governor Nick Wood and his team in District 9980, New Zealand, take the prize for most innovative project in Zone 8 for October World Polio Month this year.

Governor Nick issued the challenge to his members to support the END POLIO NOW campaign by growing the largest pumpkin possible - with a year’s notice to prepare the pumpkin patch!

Chosen pumpkin variety is the ‘Atlantic Giant’ which can grow up to 800 plus kgs.

Rotarians, or any interested community members, have agreed to donate a sum of money of their choice per kilo of the final weight to polio – be it ten cents, a dollar or more.

Leaving nothing to chance, Governor Nick has signed up a trucking company with cranes to do the official weigh in at the District Conference in April next year – with the weigh bridge at the local rubbish dump as back-up.

It’s all systems go for the pumpkin competition in District 9980 with President Maree Fleck (left) of Invercargill Rotary displaying her newly sprouted plants and President Trish McDougall shows her prize pumpkin seeds.

Nick Wood has experience with such competitions following a similar contest during his presidential year to support the Relay for Life organisation. He grew a 50kg pumpkin and was confident of success on that occasion until another contestant arrived with a 400kg behemoth that was too big to be brought inside!

Poster - Pumpkins for Polio Dec 2020